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The U.S. magazine Foreign Affairs has published an analysis on its website regarding “the situation in the former Yugoslav countries.”
Penned by Timothy Less, and quoted by the N1 broadcaster for Bosnia-Herzegovina, the article, published under the headline, “Dysfunction in the Balkans,” argues in favor of redrawing the borders in the Balkans, to the extent of creating “greater” Serbia, Albania, and Croatia.
Less – who in the past headed the British consulate in Banja Luka, RS – thinks all this should be done for the sake of peace in the region.
“A radical new approach is required that forges a durable peace by addressing the underlying source of instability in the Balkans: the mismatch of political and national boundaries,” he writes, urging the West to prove its declared commitment to maintaining peace in this region by “putting pragmatism ahead of idealism.”
“Given the divisions in Europe, the United States needs to step up and take control of the process,” Less also thinks.
“In the short term, Washington should support the internal fragmentation of multiethnic states where minorities demand it -for example, by accepting the Albanians’ bid for the federalization of Macedonia and the Croats’ demand for a third entity in Bosnia,” he writes, adding that “in the medium term, the United States should allow these various territories to form close political and economic links with their larger neighbors, such as allowing dual citizenship and establishing shared institutions, while formally remaining a part of their existing state.”
“In the final phase,” argues Less, “these territories could break from their existing states and unite with their mother country, perhaps initially as autonomous regions.”
“A Croat entity in Bosnia would merge with Croatia; Republika Srpska (the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina) and the north of Kosovo with Serbia; and the Presevo Valley, western Macedonia, and most of Kosovo with Albanian,” he writes.
Montenegro, “which may lose its small Albanian enclaves” would then have the choice of “either staying independent or coalescing with an expanded Serbia.”
According to the author, “this would simply be a formalization of the existing reality,” while the United States would not be breaking new ground “but simply reviving the Wilsonian vision of a Europe comprising self-governing nations – but for the one part of the continent where this vision has never been applied.”